Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr created a minor controversy Monday night when he allowed his players to coach their game against the Phoneix Suns. But his former assistant, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, thought the decision made plenty of sense.
“It’s about getting the players to understand that it’s their team. They’ve got to take ownership, and the more ownership they take and what they do, how they interact or behave on the court, the more success they’re going to have,” Walton explained.
The Warriors certainly had a ton of success with the strategy against the Suns, cruising to a 129-83 blowout win as their far superior talent was simply too much for Phoenix to handle.
Walton, who won a championship with the Warriors in 2015 and also led them to a 39-4 record in Kerr’s stead as interim head coach, said that the Warriors having so many capable veterans allowed Kerr’s unorthodox strategy to work.
“I think it’s a smart way for a group that’s had the success that they’ve had of keeping it fresh and keeping the main goal of growing as a season goes on,” Walton said.
“It engages the players, I’m sure they had a good time with it. But it also gives them the awareness and understanding of what that feels like. That’s a mature team up there, and they can handle those types of responsibilities.”
The young Lakers probably aren’t ready for the same level of responsibility yet, but Walton agreeing with Kerr’s strategy offers a window into his coaching philosophy. It also suggests that when the Lakers do have similar talent, Walton will be ready to give the team great responsibilities as well.
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